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Newbie ETC Ion question about moving lights

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by BruceP, Sep 7, 2009.

  1. BruceP

    BruceP New Member

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    Hi all,

    I have a few years experience with ETC Express series boards and I'm just now sitting in front of my first ETC Ion. We're planning on using the console with a number of Martin MAC 250's for our first show. I've been playing around a bit and have figured out a lot of the basics, such as setting up a patch using a MAC 250 profile. One thing I haven't figured out is how I can program a cue or macro to turn the lamps in the MAC's on/off. I can manually strike the lamp by entering the channel number, hitting the lamp control softkey, then clicking on the lamp on/off buttons that show up on the display. But the only way I seem to be able to turn the lamps on/off is by doing it interactively. With the Express boards I would set up a cue or macro to turn fixtures on/off so the operator doesn't have to worry about doing it manually. But with the Ion I can't even create a macro that will do it. I've even recorded a macro that goes through the steps of turning the MAC lamp on but when I run that macro the fixture doesn't respond. So how do I make the Ion turn moving lights on/off via a macro or cue?

    Thanks,

    -Bruce
  2. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    Some thoughts:

    1) Have you read the manual cover to cover ?. Most of this is covered in the manual - really, it is. I read some of this yesterday and I don't (yet) own an Ion. The v1.7 manual is available as a PDF download from ETC - Lighting solutions for Theatre, Film & Television Studios and Architectural spaces : ETC

    2) Did the theater have it's factory rep. do the demo ?. Where you
    there ?

    Reason I ask 1 and 2 is this is an immensely complex console, far and above more complicated AND worlds different then the Express/ion OS and I am already reading the manual for a console that I have only recently proposed a request for funding to purchase. I know it's going to take me a while, especially after 10 years on Express, to wrap my head around it and I have to wonder if I'm just an old codger that works this way as opposed to the younger folks who can sit down and learn most of it in a day. Thus I start by reading the manual as I really hate asking stupid and obvious questions of the tech support folks.

    3) Not to be sarcastic or obnoxious, but why do folks post here on CB questions of this type that obviously could be answered in a more timely manner on the manufacturers website, where they maintain an excellent users forum. Don't get defensive on me, as yours is not the first post of this type time here on CB, nor on other forums, as I just answered a post on The LightNetwork for a person looking for Obsession info that I am certain could be answered in a minute on the ETC forum. Just a thought.

    Steve B.
  3. Corbettlight

    Corbettlight Member

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    Disclaimer: I do not own an Ion. I have not used an Ion. I just got an Element, and I don't know if it's the same, I'm just thinking it might be.

    With the Element, if you run the intensity of that channel up (just like it was a conventional fixture), the intensity on the ML will come up. Then you have the ML control for the other aspects of movers.

    If this is true, you should be able to set up a cue with the intensity set and have it come up every time you run that cue.

    Again, sorry if I'm wrong, but I thought that might be the case.
  4. derekleffew

    derekleffew Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Bruce-

    What [user]SteveB[/user] could/should have said is that sometimes questions arise that are better served by another forum. Unlike certain other forums, we're not above recommending another site that we feel will give you better response. (Much like the Macy's Santa sending customers to Gimbels in Miracle on 34th Street).

    For what it's worth, you are not alone in the issue you are having. I believe this thread: A few simple Ion macros - Electronic Theatre Controls from the ETC Forum may be relevant. If not, you're still likely to have better results asking your question there. Stay here for general discussion, design philosophies, anything not specifically manufacturer-gear specific. It's strictly a numbers game--they have more ETC employees and Ion users as members than we do, so they will likely (but not always) have better answers than we do.

    Now tell us, exactly what you are using those MAC 250s for? Are they bright enough? What other lights are in the rig? Got a light plot or pictures you can post?
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2009
  5. alreed1014

    alreed1014 New Member

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    Hey, I'm new to control booth but I've been working with an Ion for almost a year and a half now. The post above gives a link to a bunch of simple ion macros. There you can learn your lamp on and lamp off macros. However, one thing I have found increasingly convenient is to link one of those macros to a cue. As someone who has made the mistake in the past of forgetting to lamp off my moving lights at the end of the night(...whoops...), I have a certain distust for anyone I give that responsibility to (I'm a little cocky, and if it can happen to me it can happen to anyone). I link the lamp off macro to the final cue in a show (usually a cue written specifically for the macro).

    Heres how it goes:
    [cue][(cue #)]{execute}[macro][(macro #)][enter]

    A mistake of mine you can learn from:
    I wrote this into the show cues way too early the first time. I did it the day after tech rehearsal. Of course, the next time we finished a run, the movers lamped off. Inevidably, the director wanted to rework a scene where the movers were the key light. Imagine his frustration when I said we had to wait the 15 minute cool down period.
  6. Perfectboy

    Perfectboy New Member

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    I've never used Ion before. And i will buy one later. Hope someone could provide more Info. Thanks.
    [​IMG]
  7. thirdoctive

    thirdoctive Member

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    Go to the link below, This is ETC's ION training video. Very useful if you are starting out on an ION. They also have other training videos for the EOS and the Element (link).

    I would suggest all new ION owners watch the videos:
    ETC Ion Video Tutorials.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 10, 2009
  8. skienblack

    skienblack Member

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    In our theatre we have some studio spots and just picked up some studio colors. Why is it necessary to send a lamp off command? In all of my experience they lights "home" and turn off their lamps once we power down the board.
  9. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    With fixtures that use an Arc Discharge lamp it is best to lamp off the fixtures and let them cool with the fans running for a few minutes before you actually power them down. While just turning them off (effectively what you are doing by just powering off the console) is not terrible for them, they will cool down much faster and thus reduce risk of any heat related damage if you lamp off and allow them some time before you turn all the power off.
  10. thelightguy87

    thelightguy87 Member

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    I'm fairly certain thats a High End "thing" where as 5 minutes or so after you shutdown the light board the fixture realizes it has no dmx and shuts itself down, and when you turn the console on again, it knows its got dmx again so it homes and turns on.
  11. derekleffew

    derekleffew Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Mike and Alex are both correct. HES fixtures will sleep after a time with no DMX. On the other hand, for Martin fixtures, the default behavior for DMX loss is hold last look, forever.
  12. jhdesynz

    jhdesynz Member

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    It depends on the HES software version on the fixtures also. I have Studio Colors and Cyberlights both and neither will arc till they see data, but they will stay on until lamped off. Its good that they fixed that in later models. The lamp off (fixture shutdown on HES) has to be run twice in a row on the Studio Colors.

    On a side note, If your Studio colors and spots are the style with the large heat sink fins on the back, there are no fans in the fixture. They are designed for silent use in theatre and tv. If you forget to lamp off before shutting down the rig, it won't hurt them as they only have convection cooling anyway.

    The critical thing to remember is any ARC lamp fixture that has a dichroic glass reflector be lamped off and allowed to cool before power is cut, not only for lamp life, but because it can damage the reflector. That is not a cheap replacement part and often requires a pro to replace.
  13. bdkdesigns

    bdkdesigns Member

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    It's been a few months now since I've touched an ION so my syntax might be a little off. Also, I can't remember due to muscle memory how to end the sequence of learning a macro so I'm just going to state Learn for right now. Each step is seperated by a - to dictate each keystroke. This is how I set mine up though:
    Learn - Macro - (insert number) - Enter - About - Channels (insert channel numbers) - Lamp Controls (note, even if it is already on lamp controls, I make sure to click it so that the macro reads that in case another tab opens up) - Lamp On or Off - About - Learn.

    Notice that I started and stopped my sequence of keystrokes with About. The About screen always remains up until you kit about again. If I didn't, whenever I run my Lamp Off macro, the console would strike the About button which would close out about and never complete the Macro. Thus, whenever I trigger something in About via a macro, I made sure to make it close out as well in order to be safe.

    As far as linking it to cues, see Al's post above. Personally, I never attached my lamp off macros until 2nd or 3rd dress depending on the rehearsal process for exactly the reasons he stated above.

    Derek, in terms of your question, I used MAC 250's in all of my programming. I've never had a problem with their brightness onstage. For Hamlet, I used roughly 250 conventional ETC Source 4 instruments (Par, PARNel, and ERS' almost split down the middle between 575w and 750w) another 50 older Strand ERS', 60 Color Kinetics iCove QLX (which really only lit the back frame and under the platforms) and 12 ColorBlasts. I had 4 MAC 250 Entour spot units onstage overhead and they worked great and easily came out in the shots. The pictures are on my website, link is in my profile.

    Perhaps the best example is the fourth picture in on Hamlet. That was the scene where Hamlet enters the "ghost world" with his father. All of the orange you see onstage is coming from the MAC's with two gobos in as well as the prism. The 8th picture in is the Players Scene. While the stage does have darker colors, the player on the center platform in that dramatic pose is lit completely with the movers.

    In terms of trim height, the movers pipes were at roughly 28'.
  14. rochem

    rochem Well-Known Member

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    Just one tiny amendment. You'll need to press Enter again after you select your channels in About to get the About dialogue to appear correctly. So, ...- About - Channels - Enter - Lamp Controls -..., and forward from there.
  15. HansH

    HansH Active Member Premium Member

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    I've also had good luck with writing the macros directly in the Macro Editor -- it's much more efficient than worrying about the About screen. There even is a tab in the macro editor for Lamp Controls that gets you quick access to any available lamp control functions (based on what is patched).

    It's six of one or half a dozen of the other. It also depends on how much time you also want to spend in the macro editor....
  16. meatpopsicle

    meatpopsicle Active Member

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    ummmm, gee Steve....

    well I like coming to the forum because there are people like you, who have probably run into the issues way before me, and I like to take advantage of the knowledge that you so generously offer. There are several issues with programming over the last couple of years that you have helped me with a great deal.

    As to the manual. I am currently learning the Ion for the 1st time (I did a couple of days on it on a tv show a while back but this is the 1st time I've spec.ed it for a movie. And the manual is...less than helpful... unless you sit there going stroke for stroke with the text and even then its confusing. I found the online tutorials on Youtube to be far greater at getting me comfortable with setting it up. Manuals are hard reading for me and I'm an avid reader. Someone who isn't that familiar with the written word (like the majority of the under 30 crowd I would surmise) might find it very heavy going. A former boss of mine would (famously) throw the manual away as soon as a new console came into the shop. I think he figured if he couldn't figure it out without it it wasn't going to fly. That and some manuals were so badly written they confused more than taught. I don't think that of the Ion, but there is an immense amount of information and that in itself is daunting.

    As to the console...I'm reserving my judgement. I really miss the programmable pallettes of the hog and ma. The direct selects may work (I do have a touch screen) but they are limited in quantity...and cumbersome. We'll see. I have high hopes as I am really hoping that the Element will be an easy board to learn after this.
  17. derekleffew

    derekleffew Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Easy, probably. But also frustrating if one is used to an Ion/Eos. Why anyone would use an Eos/Ion/Element when he has access to and knowledge/experience with a MA/Hog is beyond me. Sorry, ETC.:(
  18. meatpopsicle

    meatpopsicle Active Member

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    For me its a matter of money. Movie companies won't pay for an automated board, and certainly not an automated programmer, unless there is automated gear. the Ion element price point makes it cheaper to rent than even a 1200 expression.

    That said the programmer rates are starting to sift into what gear is being driven. 14 intensity fixtures and LEDs generally don't get me an automated rate. if there were a hundred or so then I would but I have to fight that battle one gig at a time.

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